Last week, New York City Mayor Bloomberg provided an alarming yet accurate view of the need for US immigration policies to promote the arrival of new talent in the US from abroad.
While the United States political culture includes elements of string opposition to immigration, the US is actually a large importer of talent, and our country needs to increase that importation.
During the Republican Primary season in 2011 and 2012, Republican Presidential candidates competed to see who could be most opposed to immigrants to the United States. While many Republicans now regret their anti-immigrant focus, the competition amongst candidates to prove their hatred for immigrants reflected the strength of ant-immigrant sentiment in the Republican primary electorate. Mitt Romney won the Republican Primary in part by inventing the notion that immigrants should "self-deport" based on policies he would implement as President.
The Republican regret of their anti-immigrant stance is appropriate. Immigration is key to economic growth, and many parts of the US economy will be underserved without significant immigration activity. Allowing prejudice against immigrants to interfere with our opportunities to build and strengthen our economy will leave us with lower quality lives for decades to come.
Mayor Bloomberg Defends Immigration
Mayor Bloomberg is correct when he states that “we are on the wrong side of global competition. Our economy depends on immigrants, and currently our immigration policy is what I call national suicide,”
"National suicide" would appear to be hyperbole, but the notion that the United States is currently volunteering to harm itself by pushing talented people to make their contributions elsewhere is absolutely accurate.
Bloomberg stated that many of the talented immigrants now helping the US to strengthen are here on student visas, and their talents will leave the US to help strengthen other countries (perhaps even our enemies) if we do not allow those immigrants to remain in the US.
“They are our future, and we are driving them out,” Bloomberg said. Changing immigration policy to promote the importation of talent to the US is mission-critical. “I don’t think there is anything more important Washington could do for us.”
President Obama Is Expected to Seek Improved Immigration Laws
In the early part of 2013, after the fight over the fiscal cliff has been decided, we expect President Obama to make immigration reform a top priority.
We hope to make New York City a tech-focused hub for the US, and doing so will require significant talent from outside of the US. As New Yorkers, we need President Obama to make immigration reform a priority and open up opportunities for our city and the rest of the country to enjoy stronger economic growth.